Tower of London

From iWiki

The Tower of London, officially known as Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is an iconic historic castle located in central London, England. With its rich history dating back over 900 years, the Tower has served various purposes throughout the centuries, including a royal palace, a prison, and a treasury. Today, it stands as a popular tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, housing the Crown Jewels and offering visitors a glimpse into the intriguing and often turbulent history of the British monarchy and the nation.


The Tower of London was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. William the Conqueror ordered the construction of a massive stone tower to assert his power and establish a stronghold in the city. Over the centuries, subsequent monarchs expanded and modified the Tower, adding defensive walls, towers, and buildings.

Throughout its history, the Tower played a central role in the governance and defence of England. It served as a royal residence for kings and queens, a symbol of their authority and prestige. The Tower also functioned as a prison, housing high-profile captives, including monarchs, nobles, and political prisoners. Notable prisoners held in the Tower include Anne Boleyn, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Guy Fawkes.

The Tower of London also served as a treasury, housing the Crown Jewels of England. These priceless artefacts, including crowns, sceptres, and ceremonial regalia, are still on display today and attract millions of visitors each year.

Architecture and Features

The Tower of London showcases a variety of architectural styles and structures, reflecting its long history and multiple uses. The complex includes several notable features:

  1. White Tower: The central keep, known as the White Tower, is the oldest part of the complex. Built in the 11th century, it stands 27 meters tall and houses the Royal Armouries collection, showcasing arms and armour from different periods.
  2. Inner Ward: Surrounded by defensive walls and towers, the Inner Ward houses various buildings, including the Medieval Palace, the Chapel of St. John, and the iconic Traitors' Gate, through which prisoners were brought into the Tower by boat.
  3. Outer Ward: The Outer Ward features the iconic Byward Tower, the Middle Tower, and the Tower Green, an open space where many executions took place.
  4. Ravens: The Tower is famous for its resident ravens, which are believed to protect the Crown and the Tower. Legend has it that if the ravens were to leave, the monarchy and the Tower would fall.

Tourism and Cultural Significance

Today, the Tower of London is one of the most visited historic sites in the United Kingdom, attracting tourists from around the world. Visitors can explore the various exhibitions and displays, including the Crown Jewels, the Medieval Palace, and the famous Yeoman Warders, also known as the Beefeaters, who serve as guides and guardians of the Tower.

The Tower of London holds great cultural significance, representing both the power and authority of the British monarchy and the nation's fascinating history. It has been featured in numerous works of literature, films, and television series, further cementing its status as an iconic symbol of London and British heritage.